To the Editor:
A small point of fact in regard to Mr. Botsford’s review of my book Language and Silence [October]: I cannot conceive what “august college” could have been considering me for a fellowship. I was elected a founding Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1960 and have, since October 1961, continued in my Fellowship and Directorship of English Studies. No man, save in an emerited or honorary capacity, seeks or can be considered for election to another college than his own.
Mr. Botsford writes:
To Mr. Steiner, I can only answer that the scene to which he alludes did indeed take place, though the three persons who could corroborate my account can obviously not be named. In any case, my point was to defend Mr. Steiner, whom I respect and admire, against the petty snobbishness of the English academy. Mr. Steiner’s colleagues at Churchill made the better choice; and it is conceivable that I may have misconstrued the ground rules under which the two-hour discussion took place. Maybe in England, as here, academics polemicize at length over pure hypotheses.